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FDA warns against unapproved vaccines

THE FOOD and Drug Administration (FDA) on Monday cautioned against the use of unapproved coronavirus vaccines after reports that some people have been inoculated.

“The FDA has not issued any emergency use authorization to any vaccine for COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019),” FDA Director General Rolando Enrique D. Domingo said in a statement on Monday.

“Without proper authorization, there is no guarantee on the safety, quality and efficacy of said vaccine as the same has not undergone the required technical evaluation by the FDA,” he added.

The Department of Health (DoH) reported 766 coronavirus infections on Monday, bringing the total to 470,650.

The death toll rose by 15 to 9,124, while recoveries increased by 104 to 438,780, it said in a bulletin.

There were 22,746 active cases, 80% of which were mild, 10.4% did not show symptoms, 3.2% were severe and 6% were critical.

Davao City reported the highest number of new cases at 60, followed by Quezon City at 46, Benguet at 41, Laguna at 39 and Rizal at 37.

The agency said two duplicates had been removed from the tally, while one tagged as recovered was reclassified as a death.

DoH said it expects cases to fall between Dec. 24 and Jan. 4 as fewer people get tested during the holiday.

It said eight laboratories were closed on Dec. 26. Out of the 175 laboratories that were open, 27 reported zero testing.

The Philippine government expects millions of coronavirus vaccine doses to arrive next year as it continues negotiations with drug companies for supply. 

The state is in talks with British drugmaker AstraZeneca Plc for 20 million doses that will be allotted to the government, and 10 million more for the private sector, vaccine czar Carlito G. Galvez, Jr. said at the weekend.

The government was also signing a contract with Serum Institute of India Ptv. Ltd. by January, which had committed 30 million doses for the Philippines.

The state was also in talks with US drug company Pfizer, Inc., while Moderna, Inc. has agreed to ship 20 million doses. Pfizer and Moderna are frontrunners in vaccine development, both reporting more than 90% efficacy rate. — Charmaine A. Tadalan

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